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Goldman Sachs cash confirms Jumo as fintech heavyweight

By Quentin Velluet
Posted on Sunday, 1 March 2020 21:30, updated on Wednesday, 1 April 2020 12:18

By entering Jumo's final $55 million round of financing, the US bank Goldman Sachs is raising the South African fintech's profile

After an initial equity investment in Jumo in September 2018, the powerful US bank Goldman Sachs has just topped up the South African fintech’s coffers.

Created in 2015 in Cape Town by Andrew Watkins-Ball, the company, which specializes in savings, loans and insurance for people and small businesses far from the traditional banking system, has raised $55 million (50 million euro) in debt and venture capital from the American bank.

  • British company Odey Asset Management, as well as the fund dedicated to Africa and Asia, LeapFrog Investments, also participated.

Heavyweight

With this new round of financing — its fourth since April 2018 — the company, which targets emerging markets and is part of the very select club of African start-ups active beyond the continent’s borders, now intends to conquer Côte d’Ivoire, Nigeria, as well as Bangladesh and India.

  • Jumo is already active in Ghana, Kenya, Pakistan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zambia and has representation in Cape Town, New Delhi, London, Mumbai, Nairobi, Porto, and Singapore, where its founder is now based.

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The company has raised nearly $146 million since its creation from renowned players such as Google, which integrated Jumo into its accelerator in May 2017, the Mastercard foundation, development institutions such as Finnfund and Proparco (the private branch of the French Development Agency).

It makes Watkins-Ball’s start-up is one of the heavyweights on the pan-African fintech scene, alongside Interswitch, Paga, and Migo.

He’s also a serial entrepreneur and head of the London-based MWB Capital fund dedicated to nanotechnology in the energy sector.

15 million customers

Jumo is connected to continental telecom operators such as Tigo, Airtel, and MTN as well as traditional banks such as Letshego in Ghana and Barclays in Zambia, to integrate its offers with those of its partners.

Since 2018, the start-up has partnered with Uber in Nairobi to provide drivers with access to loans for the purchase of cars based on their rating and with flexible repayment options.

By 2019, the start-up, claimed to have provided more than $bn in loans to 15 million customers, and to employ 300 people across 11 countries.

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